Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 4: The Comeback

26.7 miles
5 Runs
2 Days off
2 workouts (7 x 300m repeats and 2 miles tempo at 6:00 average)
2 yoga classes
3 weight lifting days
6 hours of walking

This was my fourth week back running and I hit the same total of mileage that I would have completed in one race at the Olympic trials if I hadn't gotten injured. It's okay though, because I still get to toe the starting line!

This week, I went to my first Strava Track Club workout in probably two months.  I ran solo for some 300m repeats and cheered on the ladies as they sprinted really fast around me.  I was most pleased with my tempo effort on Saturday with Jenna, where I ran 6 total miles, with 2 miles at 606 and 551 pace.   Considering that my goal is to run a lap or two with Meagan at the Trials, I'm really pleased that I can run 6:00 average pace for a couple of miles.  This means that I can still run the pace I would have liked to run, albeit for a shorter distance.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 3: The Comeback

20 miles
5 days running, 2 days off
5.3 miles longest continuous run
1 lift day
2 sore calves

This week, I felt like my body was falling apart, but my two PTs from Durham reached out to me to reassure me that I was doing just fine.  My calves are sore, and my quads are killing me.  My left knee tightness came back and that completely freaked me out; I thought I was on the path to injury again.  I started foam rolling and resurrected even more rehab activities for me to be doing. I feel like I constantly live on the foam roller or on my yoga mat, doing crazy mobility drills.  I'll do whatever it takes for me to feel like a normal runner again.  The positive thing is that running is getting easier.  This unorthodox method back is going great, even though it's tough mentally and physically.  My lower back is still ridiculously tight, so I'm really beginning to think that I need a new mattress.  The one I have now is too firm and my back has been bad the whole time I've lived in California.

I also started going to the YMCA yoga classes on the weekends and they are the BOMB. I love them.  The instructors are great.  It's basically deep stretch classes and the bonus is that one of the instructors incorporates foam rolling into the practice.  SWEET!

Here's my week in review, for those who care about a different approach to coming back to running after taking 7 entire weeks completely off.

  • Monday: 2 x 10 in 6:00 with 1:00 rest, 8:00 in 5:56 pace for 4.8 miles total in 32:00 (also this was a stop rest), walked 2 hours for 6 miles total
  • Tuesday:  Off
  • Wednesday:  3 miles continuous in 6:40 pace, tired today
  • Thursday: 4 miles continuous on feel in 6:40 pace, felt way easier than yesterday , walked 3 miles to work
  • Friday:  5.3 miles in 6:31 average via 10 x 3:00 with 30s jog rest.  I did all intervals at 6;30-6:10 pace
  • Saturday:  6 miles hike, yoga
  • Sunday:  3 miles walk, yoga, lift, 3 miles in 21:00 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 2: The Comeback Continues

11.7 Miles Total
3.2 miles continuous! (YIPPEE!)
2 days in LA

Hey-oh!  I ran over 10 miles total this week.  Hard to imagine that in just four weeks, I should be completing 26.2 miles at the Olympic Trials.  Don't worry - I'm not actually going to run 26.2 miles. I don't want to risk an injury, so basically my whole purpose over these next four weeks is to get my body used to running 6:10 pace for a sustained period of time so that I can at least run side-by-side with Meagan for some portion of the Trials race.

For the next two weeks, Garrett has concocted an unorthodox plan to get me back on track.  He's consulted a former Duke Track Coach and two Duke PTs who helped a Blue Jays pitcher come back from surgery in practically record time.  So, I am going with it.

Here's how crazy my comeback has been, keeping in mind that typically comeback involves running slow for like three weeks and maybe eventually incorporating strides:

  • Monday:  10 minutes at 6:36 pace, 2:00 stop and rest, 6:20 for mile
  • Tuesday:  weight lifting + 30 minutes walk
  • Wednesday:  3.6 total miles in 6:52 via 3 x mile with 2:00 stop rest in 6:11, 5:51, 6:15, 6:33  for a half mile, lifting
  • Thursday:  lifting
  • Friday:  2.4 miles continuous at 6:17 pace, walked 30 minutes
  • Saturday:  3.2 miles in 7:23 pace with Katie
  • Sunday: walked 3 miles, biked 10 miles
I'm feeling good even though my calves and quads are very, very tight.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 1: The Comeback begins

3.6 miles total
3 runs

I ran.

Sorry, let me type that again.


For the first time in 47 days, I kicked off my first run of the year on Monday at the Charlotte Athletic Club on the Woodway treadmill.  It was completely on a whim. Something just felt right.  I mean, there was a Woodway treadmill just practically begging me to test out my achilles on it.  I hopped on, walked 2 minutes, ran 2 minutes, walked 2 minutes, ran 2 minutes. I felt great!  Then, two days later, on Wednesday, I ran an entire mile.  GASP!  I wasn't even breathing hard.  I felt like maybe the running gods had decided to not let me get completely out of shape.  That feeling of complete godliness disappeared after I ran outside on Saturday.  I ran 2 x 1 mile with 1 minute rest.  My lungs were on fire and I reminded myself that I used to crank out 26.2 miles at 6:07 pace.  It will come; I just need to be patient and to trust the process.

In between all of that, I've been lifting regularly to ensure I strengthen the areas of weakness.  I feel so much stronger and it's such a great feeling. I'm glad that an injury forced me to finally get on the lifting bandwagon and it's something I'd definitely like to continue until I'm well past the senior citizen age so that I can try to keep my skin tight into old age.  But I digress.  This was also the first real week that I tried cross training a bit more. I did a cycle class, water ran with Billy.  It's much easier to cross train when you have a partner to do it with.

I'm not a real big believer in cross training.  For me, it just emotionally drains me.  I hate being on stationary equipment. I'd rather be physically moving closer to an object, versus staring into a wall for an hour.  Because of that, I've begun walking the same amount of time that I would otherwise be running.  This will also help my body get used to more weigh bearing so that I may have a better chance of running as far I can go at the Trials.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Where I've been in 2015

Shamelessly following the same theme that Sarah used....

ONE Duke Fuqua School of Business MBA Degree!

TWO Injuries: L Calf Strain (October) and R Achilles (November through January)

FOUR Weeks of Injury:  Tight Calf (L)

2,780 Miles between me and my husband (California to North Carolina)

60,000 Airline Miles:  FOUR Countries (Chile, UAE, India, Turkey) & NINE States (AZ, FL, NY, SC, CA, MA, PA, IL, OH)

83 Days off from running in 2015, with 43 consecutive days off from Nov 15th until the end

  • January - 10 days off
  • Feb - 0 days off
  • Mar - 0 days off
  • Apr - 1 day off
  • May - 1 day off
  • Jun - 10 days off
  • Jul - 1 day off
  • Aug - 1 day off
  • Sep - 4 days off
  • Oct - 10 days off
  • Nov - 15 days off
  • Dec - 30 days off
2015 wasn't exactly what I had planned in mind.  I was hoping for a exuberant ending to my MBA, followed by several weeks off work for the holidays, with the capacity to pound the pavement for some solid training leading up to the Olympic Trials.  For the first time in exactly ten years, I was sidelined for more than one week with a real injury.  With an injury that was unapologetic and unwavering in its persistence.  With an injury that stole away my chance to finish a race at my second Olympic Trials.

That's right:  at this point, it's very likely that I won't finish the Olympic Trials Marathon.  The silver lining is that now I have the opportunity to try to run fast on the track at the Stanford Invite or perhaps even on the roads.

But, I don't want my injury in 2015 to blur away all of the great things that happened in my life.  I made so many great new forever friends through my Duke MBA program. I got to travel to four different countries, immerse myself in the culture, and run the streets with my classmate Katie.  I got a big promotion at work, leading to a move to sunny California where I can really challenge myself.  I hiked Patagonia! I hiked Big Sur! I hiked the Marin Headlands!  I ran a 10K PR at the Cooper River Bridge Run.  I spent my 30th birthday surrounded by people who were willing to pay money to hang out with me on the big day.  I'm very, very fortunate and grateful for the many wonderful things that I did this year and I'm confident that I'll bounce back from my injury to have a fast (and happy) spring.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week in Review

0 Miles
7 days off
1 Weight Lifting Session
2 Ab sessions
18 miles hiked
0 Cross Training
3 days in Phoenix

Garrett couldn’t have arrived at a better time, right when I really needed a PT to look me over and tell me and to do. Unfortunately, Garrett said we need tools that he doesn't have - like dry needling and patches and laser. So instead, I joined the YMCA so that I can start water running in January when I get back.  By Thursday, we made our way from California to Phoenix so that I could celebrate my birthday with my family and friends Matt, Nick, Allie, Merry and Michelle.  It was a great weekend, even if I had to stay back at the house when all the girls set off for a long run on Saturday.   We hiked on Saturday morning and went out to dinner, with high hopes of going out dancing later.  Instead, we stayed in a did a puzzle of cows doing yoga.  Yes, that's right, I started my 30s by doing a puzzle.  Sounds perfect to me.  Tomorrow Garrett and I fly back to Durham and I'm really excited to have some time where I don't have to be anywhere and I don't have to do anything, besides try to see some medical professionals. :

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week in Review

2.6 Miles
6 days off
1 Massage
2 Weight lifting sessions

At the beginning of this week, I truly thought that I was on the road to recovery.  For the first time in three weeks, I couldn't even feel my achilles during my normal day-to-day activities.  As I read through my daily running log, the positivity is almost contagious and I smile thinking about how I was really trying to use positive energy to nip this injury in the bud.    Things were going so well that I actually thought I could try for a run.  Well, that didn't work out quite as I had hoped.  After 1.3 miles of pure bliss and no feeling in the achilles, all went to hell.  The tightness came back and I resorted to running a tiny bit more before walking. 

At this point, all my positivity had run its course and now I was just wondering what the hell to do next.  I made several appointments with my PT in Durham and my chiro in Charlotte.  I bought a boot.  I walked 10 miles in San Francisco.  I still am not cross training.  Most people think that I'm crazy for not doing any cross training, but I had a similar injury in 2005 back at Wake Forest, and I cross trained my ass off, but my achilles stayed swollen for those 8 weeks.  Finally, the trainer shut me down completely, put me in a boot and we waited it out.  After another 4-5 weeks, I was finally ready to start my comeback to running, albeit very slowly.  I decided not to cross train in hopes that it would fast-track my healing so I would only be out for like  4-5 weeks instead of 12-13.  At this rate, I don't know when I'll  be back running.

Other noteworthy news this week include that I officially finished my MBA(!!!!!!!).  The injury, combined with the fact that I didn't even get to give my classmates a high five in person, made me feel really sad about everything.  First world problems, I know.  But it was so anti-climatic to finish the Duke Cross Continent MBA program without my classmates close by to be like, damn we did it.  After 18 months, 5 countries, 16 classes, 50,000 miles flown, 100 new friends, I should feel like I really accomplished something, but instead it just feels like I literally just put down a book I really liked.  I feel like a part of my identity is gone.  What to do with my extra time?  I can't run, so I should I start doing Pure Barre?  Where should I volunteer my time?  Should I learn Spanish?  Should I just start working overtime, because, well, why not?  Who am I?  Who do I want to be?   How do I make friends in California?  These are all the thoughts running through my head, and I hope I get some clarity in 2016.